Opec Secretary General calls on Russia and Norway not to increase oil export quotas

OPEC Secretary General Ali Rodriguez has called on Russia and Norway, the largest oil exporters outside the OPEC, not to increase crude oil exports, when speaking before journalists in Vienna.

Having cut their export by 150,000 barrels per day since January 1st, 2002, Moscow and Oslo "substantially helped to keep oil prices at a fair level after the tragedy of September 11th," Rodriguez said.

Meanwhile Russia intends to gradually restore its usual production and export volumes during the coming two months, the country's prime minister Mikhail Kasyanov said on May 17th. The government and oil companies' leaders agreed that "the complete stabilization of oil markets is already near," he said. That is why "it is time" to gradually lift the limitations, that Russia committed itself to in order to stabilize the world oil market, the prime minister pointed out.

At their special 120th session energy and oil ministers from the OPEC countries will most probably decide to leave quotas on crude oil production and export unchanged, Ali Rodriguez stressed. Now "the oil prices do not exceed the agreed limits - $22-28 per barrel," he said.

However, the global economic situation cannot but influence the world raw materials markets in the second half-year, the OPEC leader pointed out, adding that "these indicators make the world oil cartel act very cautiously, so it is better not to touch the oil export issue right now."

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